Catholic Conference of Ohio
Friday, March 23, 2018

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Federal Court Blocks Down Syndrome Abortion Ban

Further Appeals Expected

Ohio's new Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act was blocked by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black over questions of constitutionality. The law would prohibit abortions after prenatal tests reveal Down syndrome in a fetus, or if there's "any other reason to believe" the fetus has the genetic condition. A person performing an abortion in such a case could face a fourth-degree felony charge, and physicians could lose their licenses. The woman seeking the abortion would not be held accountable.

Larry Keough, an Associate Director with the Catholic Conference of Ohio, and his wife Jackie testified in favor of this legislation.  The Conference is disappointed in this ruling.

Further Court Appeals are expected.

Catholic Conference Raises Questions Regarding Proposed Work Requirements for Persons on Medicaid

Ohio Seeking Federal Waiver Which Will Result In The Loss of Medicaid Health Coverage For Some Ohioans

In a letter sent to the Ohio Medicaid Director, the Catholic Conference of Ohio offered comments regarding an 1115 Demonstration Waiver Application. The proposed waiver considered by the Ohio Department of Medicaid establishes new work and community engagement requirements in order to qualify for Medicaid. As currently crafted, it is complicated and targets a population already at serious risk for health and welfare. It also undermines the physical and mental health and self-sufficiency of a population that has shown significant improvement since expanded access to Medicaid was made possible.

Ohio Bishops Issue Statement on Gun Violence

Encourage elected leaders to adopt prudent policies to help curb gun violence.

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio call upon Ohio’s elected leaders to adopt prudent policies to help curb gun violence. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to promote the culture of life.

We urge open and civil discourse that will result in the enactment of bipartisan reforms. We pray that Ohio’s leaders will set aside political agendas and achieve solutions that promote the common good and safety of all people. We believe just solutions can be found that will not violate the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

We commend state leaders who are actively seeking solutions to the pressing issue of gun violence. We applaud Governor Kasich for calling together persons with differing perspectives and for his leadership in seeking points of common agreement...

Governor Kasich's Recommendations

Governor Kasich Proposes "Consensus" Changes to Help Reduce Gun Violence

Catholic Conference of Ohio Applauds the Governor's Leadership in this Area

On March 1, 2018,  Governor John R. Kasich offered the Ohio General Assembly recommendations to help reduce gun violence.  A group of leaders from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of views came together to search for common ground on such policies.  The Catholic Conference of Ohio participated in this process. Through this process, the group reached unanimous agreement on several proposals.

Urge Lawmakers to Work Together for an Immediate Solution for Dreamers

U.S. Bishops Justice for Immigrants Project Issues Call to Action

The fate of nearly 1.8 million Dreamers remains uncertain as Congress has yet to reach a bipartisan deal to protect these youth. On January 22nd, Congress passed a short-term spending bill that will fund the government through February 8th, ending the government shutdown. The bill did not include protections for Dreamers, however, parties have agreed to continue negotiations and work towards a fix.

Unfortunately, every day that passes without a solution is a day where DACA youth fall out of status and lose their ability to go to school, serve in the military, and work legally.

National Call-in-Day to Congress Monday, February 26, 2018

U.S. Church Leaders Urge Action to Secure Legislative Protection for Dreamers

The U.S. Senate failed to achieve the 60 votes needed to move forward with debate on legislation to provide relief to Dreamers. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB President; Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB Vice President; and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, together issued the following statement:

“We are deeply disappointed that the Senate was not able to come together in a bipartisan manner to secure legislative protection for the Dreamers. With the March 5th deadline looming, we ask once again that Members of Congress show the leadership necessary to find a just and humane solution for these young people, who daily face mounting anxiety and uncertainty.

“We are also announcing a National Catholic Call-In Day to Protect Dreamers. This coming weekend, we will be asking the faithful across the nation to call their Members of Congress next Monday, February 26, to protect Dreamers from deportation, to provide them a path to citizenship, and to avoid any damage to existing protections for families and unaccompanied minors in the process.

“Our faith compels us to stand with the vulnerable, including our immigrant brothers and sisters. We have done so continually, but we must show our support and solidarity now in a special way. Now is the time for action.”

Call-in Information

Call for Prayer and Healing

Pope Francis & Bishop Conference President Reactions to Shooting at Florida High School

Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called for prayer and healing.

The full statement is as follows:
"We are deeply saddened by the shootings in Broward County, Florida, and by the needless and tragic loss of life. May the mercy of God comfort the grieving families and sustain the wounded in their healing. Catholics and many other Christians have begun the journey of Lent today. I encourage us to unite our prayers and sacrifices for the healing and consolation of all those who have been affected by violence in these last weeks and for a conversion of heart, that our communities and nation will be marked by peace. I pray also for unity in seeking to build toward a society with fewer tragedies caused by senseless gun violence. Our hope is in the Lord, as he promised after his resurrection, 'behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age' (Mt. 28:20)."

The Holy Father’s condolences

The following is the telegram of condolences sent on behalf of the Holy Father. ​


The Most Reverend Thomas Gerard Wenski Archbishop of Miami His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Assuring all those affected by this devastating attack of his spiritual closeness, he prays that Almighty God may grant eternal rest to the dead and healing and consolation to the wounded and those who grieve. With the hope that such senseless acts of violence may cease, Pope Francis invokes upon all of you the divine blessings of peace and strength.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

Federal Budget Should Build Toward Common Good, Say U.S. Bishops Chairmen

After the Trump Administration released its federal budget proposal, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, and the Most Reverend Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, expressed deep concerns about many of the priorities outlined in the blueprint, and called on Congress to "ensure a budget for our country that honors our obligations to build toward the common good."

Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions

Two Cases Receive Rulings

In one case, the Court ruled the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) rightfully revoked the license of Toledo’s last abortion clinic -- Capital Care Network of Toledo -- because it violated a rule requiring written hospital transfer agreements. In the other, the Court ruled Preterm-Cleveland lacked standing to challenge the constitutionality of abortion restrictions in budget bill 130-HB59. Both rulings were 5-2, with Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and former Justice Bill O’Neill dissenting.

Capital Care Opinion
Preterm-Cleveland Opinion

Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Praises House for Passing Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, thanked and praised the House of Representatives for passing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act today with a bi-partisan vote of 241-183.

"As Chairman of the United States Bishops' Committee, I offer gratitude and praise to the House of Representatives for passing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 4712). This common-sense legislation offers a simple and widely supported proposition: a child born alive following an abortion should receive the same degree of care to preserve her life and health as would be given to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. I call on the Senate to pass this bill as well and ensure that the lethal mentality of Roe does not claim new victims – vulnerable human beings struggling for their lives outside the womb."